A student discussion

Listen to two students comparing Mars and Earth to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Teacher: So you've got a few minutes to discuss with your partner.

Student 1: So, as far as I know, the main similarity between Mars and Earth is that they can both support human life.

Student 2: Yeah, but do we know that's actually true? I mean, Mars is much colder than Earth, isn't it? It says here it's about minus 55 degrees most of the time, whereas on Earth only places like Antarctica get that cold.

Student 1: True. Well then, I suppose you could say both planets are a similar distance from the Sun?

Student 2: No way! Mars is much further away! It says here it's about 228 million kilometres, while Earth is about 150 million.

Student 1: Yes, but in space that's not that far. Jupiter is, like, almost 780 million kilometres. That's why we use astronomical units when we talk about distances in space. Earth is 1 astronomical unit from the Sun and Mars is 1.3. The difference doesn't sound so big when you look at it that way.

Student 2: I see what you mean. Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units so I guess you're right. What other similarities are there between the two planets?

Student 1: Let's see … not the colour, obviously!

Student 2: Yeah! Earth is called the blue planet and Mars is called the red planet for pretty obvious reasons!

Student 1: Their sizes are pretty different. Mars is about half the size of Earth.

Student 2: What about this? It looks like the days on both planets are almost the same length. Earth's day is 24 hours but Mars's is about half an hour longer.

Student 1: You're right. OK, any other things they both share?

Student 2: I suppose you could say they have water in common.

Student 1: Could you? How?

Student 2: Well, Earth is 70 per cent water and Mars probably had huge oceans in the past. It's just that most of the water there now is probably frozen.

Student 1: Ah, I see. I don't think we can say the air is the same, though. Most of Earth's air is nitrogen and oxygen, but Mars …?

Student 2: Mars doesn't really have air, not compared with Earth. It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth.

Student 1: Right, and it's mostly carbon dioxide.

Student 2: Gravity is another difference. I didn't know this, but Mars has higher gravity than the Moon. But it's much less than on Earth, of course.

Student 1: Oh, yes. It says Mars has about 38 per cent of Earth's gravity.

Teacher: OK, let's see what you've found …

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Submitted by tittoo11 on Fri, 16/10/2020 - 09:19

I’m not sure about a correct answer about if we can l live on the the Mars one day, but I can say: nothing impossible seeing that huge and accelerated scientific progress in various fields.

Submitted by Akram Bashir on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 20:34

I dont think its possible, cos there is no air in mars as the student said. So people can't breathe & live there if they dont using oxygen mask.

Submitted by nialataria on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 13:03

Nothing is impossible, but I prefer to stay on earth))

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 23:53

I have seen many things that humans have gotten; however it's a few complicated to think that someday people could live on Mars because this planet don't have the enviromental conditions currently to support life, for instance almost all its water is frozen. Therefore, today is impossible to live on Mars whereas looking forward, the science could find out mechanisms for backing life up on Mars.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 10:03

no , i don't think so but we don't know the future our technology is progressing very quickly

Submitted by kate050186 on Sun, 04/10/2020 - 18:45

Maybe people will find more appropriate planet to live than Mars.

Submitted by Sara Ali on Thu, 01/10/2020 - 03:23

I can't answer this question clearly because I don't have enough knowledge about this topic. But I don't think that humans will live in any place except Earth.

Submitted by Bashaier on Tue, 29/09/2020 - 05:00

well, i am not sure maybe with enough supports human can live in mars for one day but it will cost money and efforts

Submitted by Yel on Thu, 24/09/2020 - 08:50

Well, i doubt that we will ever go and live in Mars.It will be always a fantastic dream. Finding oxygen here can take maybe 200 years or more, maybe we cannot live in mars but our grandchildren can.

Submitted by PL on Sat, 19/09/2020 - 19:52

I truly believe that we are capable of in technological point of view but, probably it will be highly expensive for some countries - the developed ones, of course - and it's going to be far away from the reality of the present generations. So it's hard to know.

Submitted by ErnestoV on Sat, 19/09/2020 - 05:29

I think we need first learn how to live in peace on earth before look for living in other planet.

Submitted by Mattia Ciccarelli on Sun, 13/09/2020 - 16:02

I think one day we can live on Mars for the development of technology and for the obligation to search a new planet

Submitted by katyatorres on Thu, 03/09/2020 - 02:33

I'm not pretty sure but I think that It's going to be impossible because there is lots changes that it'll need to happens to support and create life.

Submitted by pilargarciach on Sun, 30/08/2020 - 10:26

No. I don't believe it. The people need to feed protein, and Mars conditions are not allowed by animal life.

Submitted by Agniesiafrompoland on Wed, 26/08/2020 - 12:45

I think one day living in Mars will be possible. It will be very difficult and cost a lot of work and money.

Submitted by Sai Minn on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 09:17

To be honest, I am not sure people living on Mars one day.

Submitted by esi on Sat, 22/08/2020 - 15:19

I think humans will go to Mars such as they have gone to antarectic. they will build only scientific base because earth is best place for life.

Submitted by Rinaa on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 20:54

Yes, I think the March support human life. I have seen a documentary about life in March. As far as I know, there is water in March and that means March can be a habitat for animals and plants. But for what kind of creature? we already don’t know. We are destroying our Earth every day, and soon there won't be able to live there, so maybe our new house will be in March. First, we should investigate if the march is suitable for Earth creatures. If March will provide us key living factors as water, air, and a good climate, we will move there with pleasure.

Submitted by tuannam on Thu, 20/08/2020 - 13:44

Maybe one day but it's not for tomorrow.

Submitted by Daniela Zapata on Wed, 19/08/2020 - 23:49

I think Mars will support human life in many years. We need a lot of researchs to find how to deal with the facts like it has less gravity than the Earth, It´s almost a frozen planet and it doesn´t have air. In this moments scientists are doing a lot of investigations about this and I hope humans can live on Mars one day, but definitely won´t be this generation.

Submitted by Wei Yan Min on Tue, 18/08/2020 - 15:30

Maybe! I hope to visit the space one-day but I don't know it'll happen.

Submitted by yzdxsmx on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 11:09

I can't tell for sure if Mars is suitable for Earth creatures. Mars is much colder than Earth, and we found no liquid water except ice so far. I wonder how the ice on Mars can be melted into the water for use. But I've read, in the past few weeks, some countries have sent new spacecraft to Mars for further exploration. Meanwhile, scientists are continuing to research whether planets are there in the cosmos that are appropriate for living there. I think some point in the future humans might move into space, but it is not necessary to be on Mars or planets in the solar system. Even if we could move to another planet, we should take good care of the earth.

Submitted by Loda.iQ on Sun, 16/08/2020 - 08:27

Many years ago, our planet looked different from what it does today. it was fully covered with the sea and with one big continent called Pangaea. Earth has changed, and it's suffering right now one that caused by human beings. It's worth noting that people can adapt to new changes, but I don't think we are able of living in Mars because the planet misses key living factors such as water, clear air and grass.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Thu, 13/08/2020 - 13:16

I heard also, people want to live or move to the moon until 2050. Developed countries would like to build hotels, entertainment on the moon. But, if it is about Mars, I don't know how is possible to be there. We said the mars is colder than the earth.

Submitted by Danbraga on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 18:44

Despite the new technologies, I think living on Mars will never be possible, because Mars doesn’t have natural resources such as, water, oxygen, good weather conditions; however, new scientific researches about another planet are always welcome.

Submitted by Hussein Alattas on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 14:54

People are are growing so fast, life is much easier then before and no body cares about the future. Can we life in this plan forever?! Can we make the factories stop throwing their waste everywhere ?! The Ozone whole is going to be bigger then now if we don't find the solution, i think some people will have to live on Mars but not this generation.

Submitted by ikhay on Tue, 11/08/2020 - 15:17

Yes, I agree. Scientists are trying to approve for that. One day, it will be.

Submitted by Eden alemayehu on Sun, 09/08/2020 - 11:48

I think so , scientists are doing different studies on mars and I hope one day they will be successful and able to help people to live in mars

Submitted by Ivanox76 on Sun, 09/08/2020 - 05:52

I don't think so, maybe the scientist have more information than I do, but my guess that Mars is a Planet died long time ago, and nowadays it doesn't have anything to offer us.

Submitted by Asni on Sat, 08/08/2020 - 00:10

Yes, lots of things seemed impossible in the past and they've come true. With all the improvements and breakthroughs of science and technology, I just can't tell for sure whether there exists something unachievable including the possibility of life on Mars. Maybe, the lack of oxygen and extreme cold seem to be the biggest obstacles to the human life there, but no one knows how far can humanity go in the universe...

Submitted by IKEDA on Fri, 07/08/2020 - 15:50

That's a hard question. I've heard that the Sun keeps expanding, if so, the human is going not to be able to live on the Earth someday. If I think so, We might need to move to Mars far future.

Submitted by Phan Bao Dung on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 19:24

The more Earth is seriously destroyed by humans, the more they will try to find another planet with alternative life. It may be Mars because many recent NASA kinds of research show that there exists life on this planet. This opens up the prospect of being able to send humans to live on Mars.

Submitted by mariaptis on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 13:16

I can't say I'm sure that Mars could allow life on itself, but I can say that I would be thrilled to see what kind of life could grow there. I hope they are way better than us as living creatures and actually take care of nature.

Submitted by Andrea Hernandez on Fri, 31/07/2020 - 17:02

I think in the future it's possible because the scientists study a lot about the possibility people will live on Mars one day. Maybe now there aren’t the possibility, but when the studies are more advance it’s really possible.

Submitted by Hennadii on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 10:43

According to the "Total Recall" movie, live on Mars is our future. Not the happy one though but, you know, nobody can't predict what it would be like. I think we can live on Mars if our technologies will make some steps forward. Of course, we will have to build stations with oxygen to breathe and warm enough to not no freeze to death. I'm sure we can do it in the future. But! The other question - what for? It obviously will cost a fortune but what will we have instead? Mines? What does Mars have that we can't find here on Earth? Vibranium for Captain America's shield? Probably not. So ... I think we can but I'm not sure we should. p.s. By the way, I've watched ones how one guy grew potatoes on Mars. It was quite creatively but we still can do it on the Earth ))
Humans are looking for another planet to replace Earth when it is destroyed. That is the story of the future.
Thanks for the awesome explanation. In my opinion to do things on mars shows how much human intelligence and technology is growing and it will be one way of competition for the developed world. It may not have unique things but I think it will be part of exploration and may show the wealth of the people who affords to live there .

Submitted by Nubis on Sun, 26/07/2020 - 03:03

March is a planet that should be more studied.

Submitted by Matveeva Masha on Fri, 10/07/2020 - 18:28

I think, people will live on Mars one day. Why not??? Mars and earth have got many similarity. Scinsists think that Mars support human life. But i think earth's life and mars life will not same. Because firstly mars is colder than earth, secondly mars's air have not got nitrogen and oxygen, and many other reasons.

Submitted by ArturoBustillos on Fri, 10/07/2020 - 17:52

Of course they will... but not yet... I think it will take 30 or 40 years to be able to see humans in Mars

Submitted by Dariusz on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 15:09

When wee look at this discuss we see how important is The Sun. This planet give us and other planets energy without our life can't be exist. Mars is much further away the Sun than Earth, not too much but enough to be much colder than Earth. minus 55 degrees is very cold, but the biggest problem is an air. How we can live without oxygen, nitrogen? I can't answer, but may live on Mars can be possible on other rules than Eart.

Submitted by Hn0062 on Mon, 06/07/2020 - 20:09

It seems to me, It is possible and will happen one day but no oe ne knows when. scientice have exployed about it. personally I believe the life in thmars will be better than the earth. in princible, the life can continue in it. I hope i can live on the Mars, becouse i think it will be an astonishing experience

Submitted by abudo93 on Sun, 05/07/2020 - 13:32

I don't think that cause there are many difference between both the planets, as water, air and gravity.

Submitted by Abdisalad on Sun, 05/07/2020 - 07:01

I think one day people will stay and enjoy living in Mars for several reasons . First, the distance of the both earth and mars to the sun is same so that means live can be possible at mars. Second, scientists have discovered that there is some air in the mars so people can live it. Finally, it is better to try living at new planet in the future.

Submitted by Fadwa Bakri Os… on Sun, 28/06/2020 - 15:12

i think it is impossible living there,no way.
I think that everything is possible. Technology advances very fast and we have the knowledge to do it.